phpODP meets github. lives happily everafter.

A couple of generations ago (at least in “internetz-years”) I wrote a tiny php script called phpODP that would let people put the content of the dmoz directory on their own site. Now, I know what you’re thinking – no dmoz didn’t have a problem with that – they even have a category for sites like that. Anyway, I initially gave it away for free, it turned out to be hugely popular at the time (so much so my blog got hundreds of thousands of backlinks and a PR9 together with CNN and other equally notable sites). At the time, before Google decided to mirror the dmoz content themselves, they actually liked these dmoz-mirror-sites – so no wonder it became popular. Anyway, long story short, I decided to charge $20 for it so I would get less support emails and would actually answer the ones I got.

Fast forward to current time:

I just put phpODP up on github. Here is what this means:

  1. It’s free, anyone can improve / modify / use / fork / abuse it.
  2. It’s no longer supported by me on e-mail

I want to thank Mark Dickenson for the inspiration to do this. I got an email from him a couple of weeks ago notifying me about a bug in the script. I told him I’d fix it, but it wasn’t exactly on the top of my priority list. Some days later I got an email from Mark again with the fix included. So I thought – what the hell, why not just put the code up on github? After all, we’re just days away from 2010 ;-)

And here we are! My Christmas present to whoever is still interested in phpODP / dmoz

For downloads and github info go here:

Welcome to the new location of my blog

Hi there. If you’re getting this through my feedburner feed you should note that the new address for my blog is – check it out, yay!

What I’ve done is used to combined magic of WordPress import, to move my content from, and Woothemes to get a new look.

Since I’m a freelancer now I figgured I needed a blog, sorta to .. I don’t know, market my services or something. And also, the benefit for you guys, is that since I’m a freelancer now, I might blog a whole lot more (yay!). Or less. We’ll see how it goes.

Anyway, this was just a short update to let you know that I moved. Peace out.

How to stop MSN spam with Pidgin

For those of you who don’t know, Pidgin is an open source Instant Message client which supports MSN, ICQ, the jabber protocol (which means GTalk) etc.

After installing it however, I started getting a lot of MSN spam. You know, IM’s from random people telling me to visit places where I could gamble with my money, or alternatively my health (with cheap pills).

Turns out Pidgin defaults to letting everyone contact you. You can change this in Tools -> Privacy.

So, you don’t want this:

.. but you do want this:

That is, only allowing people on your buddy list to contact you.

Once set, all spam was gone :-)

By the way, Pidgin is a pretty smart name for that app. Being a non-native english speaker I thought Pidgin was referring to the bird Pigeon. Well, turns out this is the definition for Pidgin:

A linguistically simplified, mixed and restricted language used in limited contact situations between people who have no common language.

.. and that’s perfect for Pidgin cause it supports multiple protocols, which means it enables people with no common language (protocol) to talk to eachother. I bet the protocol implementations aren’t 100% either, so that means it’s also a simplified, mixed and restricted language ;-)

In addition to that, they can use a Pigeon as their mascot since it’s pronounced the same! I’m in awe.